A Report on Giving

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released a study of giving in America based upon 2008 itemized tax returns. The report show the national giving averages by income category:

$50,000 to $74,999 7.6%
$75,000 to $99,999 5.0%
$100,000 to $200,000 4.2%
More than $200,000 4.2%

The state of Kansas ranked 16th in giving…a typical Kansas household donated 4.8% of its discretionary income to charity. Kansans also ranked high in donations of time: 36% volunteered, well above the national average of The state of Missouri ranked 26th in giving …a typical Missouri household gave an average of 4.4% of their discretionary income to charity. Missouri residents ranked higher than the national average on volunteerism; 29% as opposed to 26% nationally.

Here are some more interesting facts:

  • The top five most generous states in giving per average household are: Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.
  • Kansas City ranks 24th out of the top 50 biggest cities in American in giving at a rate of 4.4% per household. The top five most generous cities are: Salt Lake City, Memphis, Birmingham, Al, Nashville, and Atlanta.
  • Eight of the top ten most generous states in giving voted for Senator John McCain in the last presidential election
  • Religion plays a major role in how much money Americans give to charity. For example southern states give roughly 5.2% of their discretionary income to charity—both to religious and to secular groups. When you only count funds given to secular charities that number drops to 0.9%
  • When people making more than $200,000 per year account for more than 40% of the taxpayers in a ZIP Code, the wealthy residents give an average of 2.8% of their discretionary income to charity, compared with an average of 4.2% for all itemizers earning over $200,000 or more. Living in an economically diverse neighborhood makes a difference in how much money people give to charity.
  • The total donated by Americans who itemized their tax returns and earned more than $50,000 was $135 Billion. The percentage of discretionary income donated to charity by a typical American household is 4.7%.
  • The generosity of people who give to charities is much appreciate and very much needed!


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    HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.


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